There will still be a dish full of green olives, doubtless,Un-canned and plated, still no one will even touch them.
And a platter just for plump brown giblets, the part of
The bird that always sat by him, at the table's head.
There will be steadier hands wielding the carving knife—
His role having morphed of late to cut supervisor—
Unsupervised, and carving with less brave precision,
Without his smiles approving hot stolen sample bites.
There will be a few extra inches around each seat,
A little more elbow room for lefties’ flapping wings,
As all scoot out a bit to take up now-barren space,
His once-hulking presence—then slouched, then wheel-chaired—now gone.
There will be less re-told jokes about heaping plates full,
Fewer appetite-suppressing deviled eggs consumed,
No voice to marvel at his grandchildren's bottomless guts,
Less belched out comments about this best-ever cooking.
There will be no stories about small town Long Island,
And fewer proud tales about building, Mickey, Main Streets.
No more hand-split wood brought in from a woodpile out back,
Stacked—culled—from a felled pine tree in ol' Miss Bibb's backyard.
There will not be garden-walking to plan next year's crop,
There will not be the zinging comment, "I wonder what
The rich folks ate," prideful, wry: comically ironic;
No three sneezes signaling a content, full belly.
There will be no passing out, nor recliner-snoring
As the Cowboys play, as cooks and kids clear the table
And fill stacks of Tupperware, and prepare sandwiches
Of half-timed pulled turkey on perfect home-baked biscuits.
But there will be Thanksgiving,
It still comes,
For family and our newly passed
Patriarch; for our new-sensed past.
But there will be savory victuals
More than enough,
Dripping with gravy and butter
And in gluttonous portions.
But there will be memories,
Each more precious,
And an empty seat in space,
And in his honor, just a taste
of each of the five pies.
Read more of my poetry, essays, and stories at Momentitiousness.com